Beginning with the pamphlet wars during the Restoration and ending with authors serving as critics to one anothers’ writings in the Romantic period, the eighteenth century was rife was debates about how to define and identify good literature. Authors such as John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Thomas Gray, William Wordsworth, and many others served as adjudicators of good literature by chastising others’ work in their prefaces, poetry, pamphlets, and mock epics. Theater history and book history however, tells us that some of the works of these dunces were widely popular and important in their own right—regardless of how derided they were by their peers.
This year (2018) the Bronte Society, centres of Victorian Studies as well as Literature departments across the Anglophone world are commemorating the bicentenary of Emily Bronte's birth with several conferences and events. The three Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, were born in Yorkshire between 1816 and 1820. They all died young, with the longest survivor, Charlotte, passing away in 1855, possibly from tuberculosis (like her sisters) or typhus. However, in their short literary life, the sisters published one volume of poetry and seven novels – many of them as the Bells – which have ensured their presence and influence in the English literary sphere to this day.
For at least the last half-century, theories of Blackness have challenged the foundations of modern critical thought. Theorists such as Fred Moten, Jared Sexton, Christina Sharpe, Hortense Spillers, Alexander Weheliye, Frank Wilderson, Achille Mbembe, and Sylvia Wynter variously interrogate the politics, discourse, and materialities of the imperial, capitalist experience of slavery (and its afterlife). One important avenue of consideration is how this perverse institution undermined possibilities for the Enlightenment subject not simply for those of African descent but for all people complicit in the imperial project.
Over the last decade, there has been an eruption of scholarly interest in the practices, methodologies, and techne of reading. Best and Marcus’s surface reading—which has influenced a broad sweep of New Formalist criticism—emerged alongside distant reading, one of the major interpretive paradigms of the digital humanities. The development of these twenty-first-century movements has been matched by renewed interest in twentieth-century formalisms, including the history of the New Criticism and the proto-neuroscientific approaches to reading taken by critics such as I.A. Richards.
This panel seeks to retheorize social constructivists accounts of Romantic sex and gender circulating since the early 80s that continue to persist and insist—however unwittingly—on a binaristic or universalistic normativity (hetero- or otherwise). Moreover, all such accounts are often firmly anthropocentric, offering little flexibility to engage the nonhuman in all of its material forms. More recent New Materialist accounts of sexes and genders provide resources for moving forward from the confines of the discursive prison of sex and gender that retains within it, again however unwittingly or unwillingly, a binarism between the social and the material, the human and the nonhuman.
In honor of the 200th anniversary of The Sketch Book (1819-1820), which includes the legendary stories “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the Washington Irving Society invites proposals for any topic related to The Sketch Book for the American Literature Association Conference in Boston, May 23-26, 2019. Please send an abstract of 250 words plus a brief bio to Dr. Sean Keck at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15, 2019.
A Feast of Blood: the Vampire in the Nineteenth Century
We invite essay proposals on the vampire figure in the long nineteenth century. Our edited collection will look at the vampire figure’s rise in popularity throughout the period and across a range of literary texts.
Co-emergenceCo-creationCo-existence 4th to 6th September 2019, University of PlymouthConfirmed Plenary Speakers
- Greg Garrard (University of British Columbia)
- David Higgins (University of Leeds)
- Adeline Johns-Putra (University of Surrey)
- Harriet Tarlo (Sheffield Hallam University)
It matters what matters we use to think other matters with; it matters what stories we tell to tell other stories with; it matters what knots knot knots, what thoughts think thoughts, what ties tie ties. It matters what stories make worlds, what worlds make stories. (Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble)
Call for Papers: Nathaniel Hawthorne Society The Annual Conference of the MLA will meet in Seattle on January 9-12, 2020. The Nathaniel Hawthorne Society invites proposals investigating the topic, “Hawthorne, his Circle, and the Digital Humanities,” or “DH for NH,” for short. We welcome interest in all aspects of the intersection of digital humanities with Hawthorne’s circle, including figures such as Sophia Peabody Hawthorne (whose papers were digitalized alongside those of Hawthorne, Thoreau, Whitman, and 35,000 other items from the NYPL’s Berg Collection in 2012), Melville, Emerson, Fuller, and other local (Salem, Concord, Boston, the Berkshires) contemporaries. Proposals might include (but are not limited to) such topics as:
Ongoing public debate over politically charged public monuments reminds us how much is at stake in the shaping of cultural memory, whether through durable physical structures, portable or reproducible aesthetic works, or discursive representations. How were monumentality and the preservation of the past conceived in the nineteenth century? How might we reconceive our own ways of remembering the nineteenth century? We invite proposals for papers and panels that explore monuments in the broadest sense of the word—those from as well as those about the nineteenth century. We also welcome papers that consider the concepts of monumentality and/or memory as they pertain to humanistic disciplines and engage with nineteenth-century studies.